Wednesday, October 27, 2004

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It's not the big life changes that get to me. I love being married, love having kids.

It's the little changes that get under my skin. Case in point: I used to love Fall. Winter was nice and cozy. I could tolerate Spring; I despised Summer.

Ah, glorious, gorgeous Autumn. No matter where I was, Fall looked like that scene in When Harry Met Sally; you know the one. Colors explode, but calmly. Atlanta is awash in trees. And the Smokies are a day trip away.

Winter was nice and grey, a great excuse to stay inside. Read, watch TV, eat warm foods, sleep in flannel sheets and heavy blankets.

Summer was hot, even inside. And the day lasted so long, it felt like a waste not to go outside. But I'm an inside guy, so I would stay inside and feel guilty. No fun.

Now, though. I have kids, and a wife, and a yard. I love them all (except the yard), but it's changed how I view everything.

Only in Summer do I have the time to get everything done. The kids can play outside, we can get together with friends, etc. And I'll admit, I like being outside when it's hot.

Winter is a total loss. It's cold, which means I worry about the kids staying warm enough (and about paying for whatever warmth there is). Nevertheless, they all get sick, again and again. We don't go to church as a family from November through March. And it's dark, ugh. What a waste. And it's not like I get to read when the sun goes down.

But Fall. That backstabbing, turncoat bastard. All those pretty leaves end up in my yard (killing my grass), on my driveway (making my car slip), or in the dead-end (causing neighborly friction).

I can't enjoy Fall and it's colors anymore, because I've got to move those colors from one place to another. And I get off work about an hour before the sun goes down, so I walk out of my office directly to my yard. Moving one yard worth of leaves takes a week of short evenings.

To make matters worse, we have a huge oak tree in the front yard, and it drops leaves for 4 months straight. I start raking (or blowing, whatever) in late September so that I can plant grass. I rake (or blow) again in October so that the grass can grow, then again before Thanksgiving when the leaves are really deep (child-losingly deep, I call it). Anything that falls after Thanksgiving may sit on the lawn until March winds blow them away or I may do a final round in December, if it stops raining enough.

I'm getting a condo when the kids move out.

To recap.
Old: Fall - love, Winter - love, Spring - ok, Summer - hate
Now: Fall - *&^#$*, Winter - scared, Spring - ok, Summer - like.


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